Saturday 18 November 2017

Five things Enda Kenny must tell Theresa May today

Taoiseach Enda Kenny with UK Prime Minister Theresa May Photo: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire
Taoiseach Enda Kenny with UK Prime Minister Theresa May Photo: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire
Kevin Doyle

Kevin Doyle

British Prime Minister Theresa May will be asked to outline her post-Brexit vision for the relationship between the Republic and Northern Ireland when she visits Dublin today.

Following high-profile trips to the United States and Turkey, Mrs May will make the briefest of stopovers at Government Buildings for a meeting with Taoiseach Enda Kenny.

Here are five things that the Taoiseach needs to press the Prime Minister on:

1 Ireland considers the retention of an open Border between the Republic and the North as a red-line issue. The British must be prepared to back this position during negotiations with the EU, regardless of their views on overall immigration policy.

2 Ireland intends to fight tough but fair for any companies that are looking for a new base in the wake of Brexit.

We might be good neighbours but Brexit has created a situation where niceties come after practicalities.

3 Irish citizens living and working in the UK must be protected. Rules governing the movement of workers pre-dated our membership of the EU and both sides should seek to maintain the current arrangement.

4 The status of the Good Friday Agreement must be written into the final exit deal between the UK and the EU. The ethos of the deal which has helped secure a long-term peace in Northern Ireland must be preserved. This includes recognition of the fact that at some stage in the future a referendum on Irish unity could take place.

5 Ireland is a friend to the UK, but on this occasion we are on Team EU. We want them to get a good deal but it was the decision of the UK to leave the union and the consequences of that must be dealt with, for the most part, by the British government. Outside of the UK, Ireland has the most to lose from Brexit and therefore we must work to protect ourselves during the negotiations.

Online Editors

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